First 'Darbar Movement' after the J&K fork, the civil secretariat reopens its doors in Jammu

JAMMU: In the first Darbar Movement after the fork of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in two J&K and Ladakh Union Territories on October 31, the civil secretariat reopened in Jammu with traditional fanfare and ceremonial rituals on Monday.

A lone tricolor waved over the secretariat, without the usual state flag before, while the first lieutenant governor Girish Chander Murmu inspected the Honor Guard for a police contingent that marked the transfer of offices to the winter capital. Other offices that resumed operation here include the Raj Bhavan and the police headquarters.

The Lieutenant Governor received a welcome on the red carpet when he entered the premises to preside over the ceremony around 9.30 in the morning. Folk dancers in their traditional costumes made in the program. The ceremony took place in the midst of strict security arrangements in and around the secretariat. As a precaution, the road leading to the site has been closed for the next six months until the Darbar remains in Jammu.

Murmu skipped the usual press conference, a practice followed by the head of the administration in the former state of J&K, and went straight to work after meeting and greeting senior government officials and other employees of the secretariat.

According to tradition, the civil secretariat and other government offices had closed in Srinagar from October 25 to 26 after running there for six months. The practice, under which the government operates for six months in Jammu during the winter and in Srinagar during the summer, was initiated by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape extreme weather conditions in the two regions.

The practice involves moving bulky files between Jammu and Srinagar and thousands of employees between the two cities in hundreds of buses and trucks. It costs the state an estimated Rs 20 million each year.